Writing Challenge Day 2

Published September 14, 2014 by M. Natalia Arocho

Every spent some time in a graveyard? Even in a virtual one? So many people; some with stories, some without. The challenge for Day 2 was to write about that grave that catches your eye. Here is my take on grave with not so much of a story.

Welcome Home Solider

In my line of work, there was always the fear that I would die in the line of fire. Being a soldier, part of your responsibility is to put your life on the line for your country. The only line that my wife ever had to worry about was her fishing line. That’s how we first meet and feel in love.

For me it was a much more of a literal fall. Instead of just falling into her blue eyes, I fell into the lake trying to impress her with my big catch that more or less caught me and pulled me into the water after it. She helped me out of the water though not until after she had a good laugh at my expense.

Her laugh, it just filled the entire space around everyone who was close enough to hear. It was a laugh that made you want to laugh right along with her, it was so contagious. Nothing, not even a bad day at work or crummy weather could stop you from laughing with her and lifting your mood. That laugh is one thing about her that I stored away in my memory whenever I was away.

All those memories of her was what got me through the grueling days of training new cadets and patrolling. The memories of hiking up the mountain to our favorite campsite, the sense of a great team that we made setting up the camp, holding her hand as we gaze up at the night sky. The memories that she’s told me that have gotten her through the weeks when I am away.

No matter that it was a job that I loved and that I felt was important, I was always glad to pull up to my drive way and be home because what was important to me was the person that opened the door to welcome me home. The one that gave birth to out two angels that each had their moment to keep mommy and daddy up all night. The one that made going to work not so bad because it meant working toward providing anything and everything that she could ask for, even if they were just new fishing rods.

My line of work is nothing compared to being the lone general at my house, corralling the little soldiers together to take them to school, attend every ballet recital and baseball game to then strategize the best sleeping arrangement of sleepovers. But my general made doing all that work and attending truck driving school look effortless.

Coming home after going overseas for a while, it never felt like I was missing anything with her constant updates as to what was going on at home, her recordings of the kids games and recitals, school plays and making it seems as if I was there the entire time for it. The last time I went overseas, I was ecstatic over the news that I was being promoted and given a job much closer to home. More fishing and camping trips with my family, actually being there to hear the crack of the bat as my son runs to first or clap for my daughter as she makes her bow in her pretty pink tutu. I didn’t think that a week before I was to go home I would be planning for the one thing that I wasn’t ready for.

She had been fishing when a speed that had gone out of control crashed into hers. She hadn’t seen it coming and neither had I. The lifeguard and police said that there was no way she would have gotten out the way on time, neither could they do anything to save her. I never thought that I would be the soldier coming home to find someone telling me the news that my wife had passed away. I never thought I would be the lone general in my house, getting them ready for their mother’s funeral. I never thought to now be the only one left in a graveyard, watching as the stars come out and feeling my hand, empty, and gazing up at the blurry star filled sky.


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